'Officially concerned' about Rafa, family members as coaches, more
• This might be the biggest question hanging over tennis right now. I've tried not to be too doom and gloom on this issue in the past.
The tennis salon has already started trying to figure out what Nadal can do to change. But, realistically, what's the solution? As long as tennis is played on hard courts with light rackets and hi-tech strings, the knees are vulnerable. Nadal's ground-and-pound game is what it is: He's not going turn into an ace machine or a graceful stylist. His body is it what it is: He's not going to morph into
You know, I've become less judgmental on this. I think when a player is in that crucial make-or-break phase, it's a bad idea for a family member to be the aide-de-camp. You need a relationship that's uncomplicated as possible. You need a savvy and experienced coach (See, for instance, Cilic's coach
But once players are established, maybe the comfort and familiarity is worth the tradeoff in technical expertise. So many coaching relationships are fraught with everything from sexual tension to financial stresses (remember: the player is really the boss). Maybe what, say,
• Gimmicky is probably too harsh. But it does mention that for all his longevity, Santoro has a losing record in Grand Slam singles matches.
• Yes. Three years of reaching the quarterfinals -- pretty modest for a guy who's reached the final four years running -- and he's there.
• Just taking a break, we're told. No injury, no retirement. Just recharging her battery. One of the great stories in tennis.
• I think this is significant. Tennis thrives on rivalries. It's problematic when, arguably, the two biggest rivals of the best six or eight years have never met with the big prize on the line.
• Indian Wells, 2005. Davenport d. Sharapova 6-0, 6-0.
• Great idea from the USTA.